Hawaii Tourism Japan shutting its Hawaii office


POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hawaii Tourism Japan, a marketing contractor for the state-run Hawaii Tourism Authority, is downsizing and will not have an office or representation in Honolulu “;until further notice.”;

The agency, which sells Japanese travel agents and visitors on Hawaii, has eliminated two part-time positions and two full-time positions and will close its Waikiki office at the end of the month, said David Uchiyama, HTA's vice president of tourism marketing. The agency plans to hire independent consultants and relocate its office into space provided by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Uchiyama said.

“;We have asked all of our contractors to look for cost efficiencies,”; he said. “;This will reduce administrative costs and give us more money for marketing.”;

The move will save $250,000 the first year and as much as $300,000 in subsequent years, Uchiyama said.

“;As a result of the current market conditions and to maximize our marketing budget, we have decided to downsize our Hawaii office, and are currently reviewing our operations,”; said Takashi Ichikura, HTJ's executive director. “;Therefore, we unfortunately will not have any representation in Honolulu as of the end of this month, and until further notice.”;

While the move has left HTJ temporarily without representation in Hawaii, HTJ expects to fill its contract positions shortly, Uchiyama said.

Uchiyama said HTJ and other long-distance marketing contractors also are experimenting with webinar and Skype technologies to reduce commuting and communication costs.

“;It provides linkage without the travel costs,”; he said.

In the meantime, any inquiries or requests for HTJ should be forwarded to its Tokyo office at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (011-81) 33573-2511.